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‘Carbon bomb’: Westpac, National Australia Bank under fire for bankrolling Woodside, BHP’s Scarborough LNG

Anti-gas sentiment remains across Australia as banks continue to invest in farming the resource.
Anti-gas sentiment remains across Australia as banks continue to invest in farming the resource. Credit: AAP

Bankers have been accused of “industrial-scale greenwashing” by financing a huge new gas field.

But National Australia Bank and Westpac insist they’re on board with the global push for net-zero emissions.

Woodside and BHP signed a $16.5 billion offshore LNG joint venture in November, which will cement another 30 years of gas exports from Australia.

Woodside has now completed the sale of a 49 per cent stake in the infrastructure that will process the new gas onshore at a $5.6 billion expansion of the existing Pluto facility near Karratha in the Pilbara.

The developers say the eight million tonne per annum Scarborough project will be among the lowest carbon intensity sources of LNG for North Asian customers, with its 11.1 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The first LNG cargo from Pluto Train 2 is targeted for 2026.

Investor activist organisation Market Forces says some of Australia’s biggest banks are funding a “carbon bomb” on the scale of 15 heavy emitting coal power stations spewing out pollution for three decades.

Campaigner Jack Bertolus said the “industrial-scale greenwashing” also poses unacceptable risks to fragile marine life and irreplaceable Murujuga Aboriginal rock art, which is under consideration for World Heritage Listing.

Ethical investors – big and small – are looking for genuinely sustainable and environmentally friendly places to put their capital.

Lenders and industry are keen to oblige.

“Climate action is everyone’s job. NAB wants to be part of the solution. We fully support net zero by 2050,” NAB has said as a member of the global Net Zero Banking Alliance.

Some groups, including Market Forces, are being given a seat at the corporate table to share concerns.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

There’s No Upside Left

There’s No Upside Left

The upside is ephemeral, illusory or wishful thinking; the downside is real and lasting.

There’s no upside left–not just in the real economy, but in jobs, politics or policy tweaks. Yes, there will be huge relief rallies in the stock market–relief that the Fed is still omnipotent, that the Fed didn’t destroy the world by withdrawing liquidity, etc., etc., etc.–but in terms of sales and profits, there’s no upside left: an increasingly nervous upper middle class is reining in profligate spending, while everyone below the top 10% is running out of credit cards, student loans, etc. to tap.

Whatever surplus the real economy generated has been skimmed by financiers, lenders and the central state. Stock buybacks have boosted the wealth of corporate managers and institutional owners while creating zero jobs; lenders have feasted on high-interest credit cards, federally backed student loans and subprime auto loans that are immediately spun off to credulous suckers (Widows and Orphans Fund of Norway, et al.) as high-yield securitized debt.

Anyone working for Corporate America or government has little upside but plenty of downside: bonuses are being slashed, divisions closed, sold off or privatized in the case of government, all to cut costs.

State and local pension funds, bloated by seven years of speculative frenzy, are about to start bleeding from every orifice as reality and risk intrude on the central banks’ fantasy of never-ending asset bubbles.

Whatever pension and bennies you were promised–start practicing your fractions, because only a fraction of the bloated promises made by politicos desperate to get re-elected can be paid in the real world.

Doing a great job will either get you fired or overworked: no upside there. If you have the courage (or foolish devotion to truth) to be honest, then you’ll be fired as a disruptive “non-team-player” who stepped on too many toes in the pursuit of excellence.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

For Nazi Industrialists And Hitler’s Banker “All Was Forgiven”

For Nazi Industrialists And Hitler’s Banker “All Was Forgiven”

In recent years, there has been much shock and stunned reactions among the general public as one after another banker avoided any prison time, despite perpetrating (and benefiting from the subsequent bailout) the biggest financial crisis know to mankind.

But is this shock warranted? The simple answer: no.

Consider the case of countless Nazi financiers and even Hitler’s personal banker, Hjalmar Schacht. What do they all have in common? Aside from (or perhaps due to) practically all having walked through the secretive corridors of the Bank of International Settlements, the one truly disturbing common theme is that virtually all avoided any significant prosecution for their participation in the Third Reich. In fact, as the following excerpt clearly reveals, the basis of Germany’s Fourth Reich, which in Adam LeBor’s words, “would be a financial, rather than a military imperium” was the work almost exclusively of Nazi financiers and bankers. And, of course, America’s backing and support of said Nazi bankers and industrialists.

Because when it comes to political winners and losers, the bankers will gladly support them all, and as such, no matter their prior actions, global financiers – who can and will bring down with them the entire financial system – have a perpetual immunity from the law, even if it means trillions in taxpayer bailouts, or hundreds of millions of casualties.

So the next time anyone is outraged that Lloyd or Jamie or Jon are not only walking free but have hundreds of millions in their bank accounts, advise them that if “all is forgiven” to Hitler’s personal banker, then there is clearly no hope that the judicial system will ever bring those criminals known elsewhere as “bankers” to justice.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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